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Blues Legend Johnson Could Get Highway Honor

08:01 AM Friday 2/24/12 |   |

The Mississippi House has voted to name part of Interstate 55 for blues great Robert Johnson, whose most famous song is about a crossroads.

House Bill 166 would designate a 13-mile stretch in Copiah County as the Robert L. Johnson Memorial Highway. Johnson was born in the county in 1911.

Legend says Johnson gained extraordinary guitar skills by selling his soul to the devil at a crossroads. Some versions name that corner as U.S. highways 49 and 61 in the Mississippi Delta, some 200 miles north of Copiah County.

Despite a short life, Johnson influenced later musicians such as Eric Clapton and The Rolling Stones.

The House passed the bill Thursday after some lawmakers jokingly ensured it wasn’t named for a living colleague, Democratic state Rep. Robert Johnson of Natchez.

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